Dhaka, Nov 23 – BNP senior leader Gayeshwar Chandra Roy on Monday said journalists in Bangladesh are being subjected to repression and suppression only because of division and conflict among them.
“Journalists need to be united now for their professional reasons. But we see there’re conflicts among the journalists than that of political parties. That’s why journalists cannot raise voice in unison when it comes to torture on them, no matter what their views are,” he said.
Speaking at a token-hunger strike programme, the BNP leader also said the journalists are facing the “steamroller of torture and even getting killed and deprived of justice” only for lack of their united voice.
A faction of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists arranged the three-hour-long programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club demanding the release of arrested journalists and the trial of journalist couple Sagar-Runi murder case.
Gayeshwar, a BNP standing committee member, said journalists should have sympathy for each other irrespective of their political ideology and views. “But when people hear about or see journalists being divided and taken a position in favour of BNP and Awami League, then they lose their confidence in the media and they get frustrated.”
He bemoaned that journalists could not unitedly continue a movement for mounting pressure on the government to complete the trial of Sagar-Runi murder case and punish their assailants. “We saw a journalist leader was awarded to thwart the protest against the incident. If the issue of Sagar-Runi’s murder can be silenced through an award, then such murders will continue.”
He regretted that the submission date for the probe report of the Sagar-Runi murder case was deferred for the 76th time.
“Cases are being filed against Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman. Are the editors of other newspapers taking to the streets in protest against it? They’re not doing that. The government will be scared of hitting a journalist if all other the journalists raise voice unitedly when their any colleague comes under any attack. There should be unity among you, but we don’t see it.”
Describing journalists as the conscience of the nation, Gayeshwar said the media people should not speak in favour of any political party and unfair acts on TV talk-shows using their professional identities. “If you want to do it, you can join a political party quitting journalism and then people won’t talk about it.”
Gayeshwar urged the journalists to develop their profession and make their position visible, enlighten people and thus earn their respect.
He said the media used to run programmes on the country’s Liberation War and the barbaric repression and oppression on women by the Pakistani occupation forces. “But those who now attack our mothers and sisters and insult them are equal to or more than of that the Pakistanis.”
“The spirit of the Liberation War has now vanished in the spirit of corruption…Now there’s no democracy as everything is run as per Sheikh Hasina’s whims. Democracy won’t be restored if we can’t ensure the fall of Sheikh Hasina’s government,” the BNP leader observed.
He said that the people belong to all professions, including journalism, are now deprived of their rights due to the absence of democracy in the country. – UNB